The Hindu (Mumbai)

Six Congress rebel MLAs disqualifi­ed in Himachal

They had crossvoted in favour of the BJP in Rajya Sabha elections; disqualifi­ed MLAs to move SC; AICC team claims govt. will complete its term, announces a panel to sort out internal difference­s

- Vikas Vasudeva Sandeep Phukan Vikas Dhoot

mid the ongoing political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh, six Congress legislator­s, who had crossvoted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls on February 27, were disqualifi­ed from the Assembly by Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Thursday.

The ground for disqualifi­cation, however, was their absence from the Assembly when the State Budget and the Finance Bill were being put to vote, defying a party whip to vote in favour of the government.

The disqualifi­ed MLAs were: Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Devinder Kumar Bhutoo, Ravi Thakur

AHimachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Congress State president Pratibha Singh, and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar in Shimla on Thursday.

and Chetanya Sharma. By evening, the informatio­n about their seats lying vacant was put up on the Assembly’s website.

‘Will move SC’

Mr. Rana, a threeterm MLA, said they would move the Supreme Court against the disqualifi­cation

as many of his colleagues did not even get a proper notice from the Speaker’s office.

The motion for disqualifi­cation was moved by State Parliament­ary Affairs Minister Harshwardh­an.

A team of All India Congress Committee (AICC) observers — Bhupinder

Singh Hooda, Bhupesh Baghel and D.K. Shivakumar — told the media in Shimla that Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had taken responsibi­lity for Abhishek Singhvi’s defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Asserting that the Congress government would complete its term of five years, the AICC observers announced that a sixmember coordinati­on committee would be set up to sort out internal difference­s.

Amid talk of leadership change because of growing complaints against Mr. Sukhu’s style of functionin­g by MLAs, the Chief Minister on Thursday invited party MLAs for a breakfast meeting at his official residence.

Making a flurry of revisions in the economy’s growth estimates, the National Statistica­l Office (NSO) on Thursday raised India’s real GDP growth estimate for this year to 7.6% from the 7.3% projected last month. It also scaled down its 7.2% growth estimate for 202223 to 7% and raised its 202122 estimate from 9.1% to 9.7%.

The Gross Value Added (GVA) in the economy is projected to rise 6.9% this year, with the NSO downgradin­g last year’s GVA growth to 6.7% from 7%. GDP growth for the first two quarters of this year was raised to 8.2% and 8.1%, further rising to 8.4% for the October to December 2023 quarter (Q3).

Economists expressed surprise that GVA growth in Q3 slid to just 6.5% from revised estimates of 8.2% and 7.7% in Q1 and Q2, respective­ly. Concerns also persisted about private consumptio­n, which grew 3.5% in Q3 from 2.4% in Q2.

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